A little over 2 weeks from now, I'll be competing in the Ironman World Championships in Kona, HI. I've been on this particular journey for about 6 years. I remember the first time I saw the Ironman. It was on TV and I was in High School. I remember being totally engaged in it for the whole program. There was something raw about it. No teams, no help...just you, lava, wind, and heat. I remember thinking, I'll do that one day.
I watched the Ironman a few times after that on TV. Each time, inspiration. Each time, I'll do that one day. But it was never thought of more than that. I ran cross country in high school and loved the competition. As you may recall from my first blog...I took a break from running after High School. When I got back into it, Ironman popped back in my head.
But this time it was different. I thought those people were NUTS. I actually had a frame of reference at this point. I was doing a little running, a little riding, and basically sinking in the pool :) I saw the Ironman on TV again in 2005, again, I was inspired. This time, there was no "I'll do that one day." It was replaced with, those people are psychotic!
But like most things in life, my abilities and ambitions progressed over time. My first, and one of my biggest inspirations, was Paul. He is the father in law of one of my best buddies. At the time, and still today, Paul was absolutely RIPPED. Brian told me he did Ironman competitions and was going to be competing in the same sprint tri we were signed up for in Wisconsin.
Paul not only kicked my azz that day....he also RODE HOME from the race....50 MILES! Brian and I were exhausted and this man, about 25 years older than me, was RIDING home. I was in awe. I wanted to be like Paul. From that day, 20 mile rides turned into 40...turned into 80...and so on.
There have been countless people that have been instrumental throughout my journey to where I am today. Throughout the next few weeks, I hope to write about a few of them. For now, thank you Paul. Thank you for inspiring me to get started...I hope to be half the athlete you are, in the future.
A quick update....I'm officially in my taper now and it feels GOOD. I raced in the Tri Rock Olympic distance tri a few weekends ago...and took 6th place overall! It was really nice to get out and hammer it for a couple hours. I'm truly lucky to be able to compete at a high level and stay healthy. It's no secret...take care of yourself. Eat right, consistent...appropriate training, massage, weights...that is the secret. Pretty boring :)
As I sit here tonight, in my Recovery Boots, YES!, I feel confident. I feel like I've done the work and now it is time to see what I'm made of in the toughest race on the planet.
So here I am....almost 20 years after I saw my first Ironman on TV. I'll do this one day has turned into: I'll do this in 14 days. What a ride. The training is done...the hay is in the barn as I like to say.
I plan to write every day when I land in Hawaii to keep y'all up to date on what is going on. From the NBC coverage, you would think this is a race for the "common man." Nothing is farther from the truth. The best 1% of Ironman triathletes in the WORLD get to compete here every October. I'm humbled, and honored, to be part of that group. Time to hurry up.....and wait :)
See you on the big island.....MAHALO!
Dedication, Passion, Results